$11.4 million ordered slashed from budget. Schaefer plan part of major state reduction

September 25, 1991|By Thomas W. Waldron and Melody Simmons | Thomas W. Waldron and Melody Simmons,Evening Sun Staff

The $11.4 million the Schaefer administration has ordered the University of Maryland system to cut from its budget is part of a $400 million budget-reduction package that is nearing completion.

The plan is expected to include layoffs of as many as 1,000 workers, said State House sources. Gov. William Donald Schaefer plans to ask the Board of Public Works to approve some cuts next week.

"Everybody's really going to scream," one administration official said. "This is a lot of money."

In a painful round of budget-scouring, state agencies are identifying places to cut to meet budget targets set by administration officials.

The cuts are expected to include a reduction in aid to local governments as well as massive cuts in state programs. Officials are considering "rolling over" some expenditures into the next fiscal year as a stopgap budget-balancing measure.

The administration has kept secret most of the specific cuts, in part to reduce last-minute lobbying from advocacy groups, employee unions and others, officials said.

Administrators at some of the University of Maryland's 11 institutions say the latest round of budget trimming will lead to layoffs, furloughs and increased class sizes.

UM Baltimore County President Michael Hooker said he worries that a third budget cut is inevitable unless a tax increase is approved by the General Assembly. A UMBC administrator said the latest order to cut $885,000 will mean layoffs. The university laid off 16 employees last June because of earlier budget cuts.

"Now, we're cut to the bone," said Katie Ryan, spokeswoman for the University of Baltimore, which was ordered last week to cut $357,000 after weathering a $1.4 million cut in August.

UM College Park will have to cut $4.3 million in addition to the recent cut of $8.5 million, said spokeswoman Roz Hiebert. President William Kirwan yesterday released details of a plan to raise $1 million by furloughing up to 4,000 employees for up to three days without pay. The furloughs are in response to the first round of budget cuts, Hiebert said.

At Towson State, President Hoke L. Smith was working on a plan to trim $948,000 in the new round of cuts. That is in addition to $2.6 million the university cut last month.

"Class sizes are getting bigger, we are not buying supplies and we will do without secretaries, masons, and part-time faculty," Smith said.

However, he added, Towson State's unusually high enrollment of 15,800 students this fall brought some relief in tuition revenue.

The UM Board of Regents already has ordered a 15 percent, one-time tuition surcharge effective expected to average $150 a student. The regents also have announced a tuition increase of at least 4 percent for next fall.

"I guess I have comfort in knowing that I'm not the only one hurt," said UM Eastern Shore President William P. Hytche, who must cut $304,359 in the new round and just completed a $700,000 trim of his $15.2 million state budget. "It means support staff will be cut short and is overall a demoralizing thing, but I think we're taking it in great stride."

The statewide cuts, coming in only the third month of the fiscal year, are necessary because of a drastic fall in tax revenues.

Some legislators have said it is time to consider tax increases.

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